For instance, there is risk that the newly stapled stomach will spring a leak, McBride said. This is a risk with gastric sleeve surgery in general, but there is a chance that pulling the excess stomach through the newer stomach en route to the esophagus could increase that risk, and content from within the stomach could seep into the abdominal cavity.
Horgan said that so far, this does not appear to be a problem and said he has another through-the-throat gastric sleeve surgery scheduled in the near future.
Harris has been on a diet to lose weight since she was seven-years-old -- a battle she said she has been perpetually losing her entire life.
"I spent so long feeling self-conscious about my weight. Now that I'm 60, it's about health too," she said.
After seeing the health complications other overweight members of her family have suffered, Harris decided on a more permanent solution. She was 5'4" and nearly 200 pounds at the time.
"I have three grandchildren and two more on the way. I want to enjoy them and participate with them, not just observe. I want to enjoy whatever years I have left," she said.
Dr. Horgan has performed gastric sleeve surgery using the vagina as a natural orifice of exit and he has removed other organs, such as the appendix, through using the through-the-throat technique. Because of his experience, Harris said she felt very comfortable agreeing to the first-time application of the oral removal of excess stomach.
Now two weeks out from her procedure, she has lost a total of twenty pounds, some of which was lost during the specialized pre-operative diet she began two weeks before her surgery.
She will slowly reintroduce solid food into her diet and will be able to eat anything within five weeks.
"I know it's not the be-all, end-all solution. It's a tool and I still have to make the right [diet and exercise] decisions. My only regret is that I wish I could have done this ten or twenty years ago," she said.